WVU picked No. 2 in Big 12 preseason poll
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:07
The West Virginia football team was picked second by the Big 12 preseason media poll. The Mountaineers were right behind Oklahoma, who were picked to win the Big 12. Oklahoma received 32 first-place votes and West Virginia received seven. Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU are the schools that round out the top five.
"That’s our job as coaches, to put them in those positions and make sure that they’re prepared and then get them on that stage and see what they can do from there," said head coach Dana Holgorsen when asked how he was going to have his team manage high expectations. "It’s obviously better to have high expectations than it is low expectations."
Smith named Big 12 preseason Offensive POY
After a record-breaking 2011 season, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was named the Big 12 Conference’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year as voted on by the media. As a junior, Smith threw for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns. Smith also shattered Tom Brady’s Orange Bowl passing record in WVU’s 70-33 win against Clemson.
"The only thing I can control is on the field, I have no emotion when you guys (the media) picked me as the Big 12 Player of the Year," Smith said at media day.
Smith was also named the preseason All-Big 12 quarterback. He was joined by wide receiver Tavon Austin to make the preseason All-Big 12 team.
Holgorsen Wants Backyard Brawl to Continue
With all of the focus on this season’s Big 12 schedule it’s hard to look past games against Texas and Oklahoma, but West Virginia didn’t shy away from talking about future non-conference schedules. When Holgorsen was asked if he’d ever want to take on his friend Mike Leach, who’s head coach at Washington State, he shied away from it, but offered some other options.
"There are a lot of games in our backyard that mean something to the people of West Virginia and our history. The Backyard Brawl is something that I’d like to rekindle and make sure we play Maryland and even look at the Big East," Holgorsen said. "What’s wrong with playing a game with Rutgers or UConn or Cincinnati, or something that exists that has more familiarity with our fans?"
Madsen steals spotlight at Media Day
Standing at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds with a mohawk, it is hard to go unnoticed. West Virginia center Joe Madsen found that out this week as he had media members rolling and even at one point did some pushups with the Mountaineer Mascot. He joked with different reporters about his haircut.
"We just all come out here and we know what our abilities are," Madsen said. "Why not have that kind of swagger where we can say what we feel and do what we want? But at the same time we still respect everybody, and we know that it’s an honor to be in the Big 12."